Lions seal dramatic win as Smith century in vain


Gujarat Lions got over the line with a dramatic last-ball three-wicket victory as Steve Smith's maiden Twenty20 century was in vain for Rising Pune Supergiants.

The Supergiants have struggled in their maiden Indian Premier League season and the loss of Kevin Pietersen (calf) and Faf du Plessis (finger) - which led to the signing of Usman Khawaja - has hindered their batting options.

However, Australia captain Steve Smith made light of their absence with a brilliant 54-ball 101 to steer the Supergiants to an excellent 195-3.

It appeared as though a wonderful 93-opening stand from the sensational Dwayne Smith (63) and Brendon McCullum (43) would help IPL leaders the Lions chase down the target with ease.

But a flurry of late wickets ensured a nervy ending before James Faulkner (9 not out) helped the visitors creep over the line in Pune.

Steve Smith survived a scare when bowled by Supergiants debutant Shivil Kaushik's bizarre left-arm chinaman technique - only for the 20-year-old to have overstepped the mark.

A huge six off a free hit from the next ball followed, and Steven Smith continued to make them pay, the pick of his century was a stunning flick between the legs for four off Praveen Kumar.

It was a tough total for the Lions, but Dwayne Smith and McCullum lived up to their billing as big hitters with an electric start to the chase.

McCullum went after Albie Morkel in an expensive third over that went for 24 runs, including a massive six launched over midwicket.

Dwayne Smith quickly got in the act himself, whacking Rajat Bhatia over long-on.

McCullum was undone with a top-edge off Bhatia to short fine leg, but from the next ball Dwayne Smith brought up the fifty with a swipe through midwicket.

A brilliant yorker from Thisara Perera snared his wicket, but Dinesh Karthik (33) and Suresh Raina then put on a helpful 51.

Four wickets fell in the last two overs to set up the nervy end, but Faulkner just helped the Lions survive the wobble.